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Pope Francis on Communism
July 11, 2013

Pope Francis on Communism

By Paolo Reyes

In the first published book of Pope Francis, “On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the Twenty-First Century”, an entire chapter is dedicated to a discussion between then Cardinal Bergoglio and the Rabbi Abraham Skorka on communism, particularly Karl Marx.

Karl Marx is the recognized ideological founder of communism, co-writing together with Friedrich Engels the “Communist Manifesto”. In 1876, Marx wrote his famous critique on religion that, in essence, forms the foundation of the atheistic philosophy of communism:

“Man makes religion, religion does not make man...Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.”

“Religion is...the opium of the people”. For Karl Marx, religion is nothing but an illusion, a “creation” by man in order to obtain an “illusory happiness”. For Marx, the abolition of religion is needed in order for man to attain “real happiness”.

The Communist Manifesto written by Marx led to the rise of atheistic communism, determined to crush all forms of religion and belief in God - An atheistic ideology, spread throughout the world by the Soviet Empire. And despite the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Karl Marx’s enduring communist legacy lives on in modern-day communist China - the world’s new superpower. An entire nation of a billion people living in a society that has killed all belief in God.

A Strange Justification of Karl Marx

Strangely, the chapter on communism in the book of Pope Francis is not a critique of the ill effects that Marx’s philosophy has brought to modern society - the scourge of communism. In fact, both then Cardinal Bergoglio and Skorka seem to justify Karl Marx and re-emphasize his philosophy all throughout the chapter.

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